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It should come as no surprise Dane Gagai reached his fastest speed of the season when he knew Josh Addo-Carr was breathing down his neck as he raced away to score his crucial Origin I intercept try.

The frenetic pace and intensity of Wednesday night's series opener unsurprisingly led to players hitting season highs in their on-field work rate, with Gagai and Blues veteran Josh Morris in particular lifting impressively.

Man-of-the-match Gagai bagged two tries, including one length-of-the-field intercept that led to several players hitting top speed in the 95-metre chase.

In all, the heavily involved Gagai had a match-high 36 sprints (defined as separate runs over 20km/h). That figure blows away not just his Telstra Premiership season average of 22 sprints per game but also his previous season high of 28.

Gagai also hit a new season top speed, bettering his previous 32.2km/h to reach 33.8km/h on Wednesday night.

Morris was the oldest player on the Suncorp Stadium turf at 32 and three years on from what he thought would be his final Origin but that didn't stop him giving the speed gun a nudge.

The rejuvenated Sharks centre reached 34.3km/h in the Holden State of Origin series opener, behind only Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr (35.9km/h) for quickest on the night.

Morris and Gagai were the only two of the 34 players involved to hit a new season top speed on Wednesday but plenty of players hit new highs for distance covered and intensity (metres per minute while on field).

The highest intensity reading of any of the 34 players heading into the game was Maroons fullback Kalyn Ponga, whose single-game season high was 100 metres per minute. He was one of 10 players how equalled or bettered that mark.

While the top two readings came from bench utilities Moses Mbye (119) and Jack Wighton (112) in very limited minutes, the work done by Blues halfback Nathan Cleary is jaw-dropping.

The Penrith No.7 maintained an intensity of 107 metres per minute through the whole 80 minutes, covering 9.1km. His season average of 96 was already the highest of any player going in, with a best of 99.

Cam Murray (105), Angus Crichton (104), Ponga (103), Payne Haas (101) plus Tyson Frizell, Daly Cherry-Evans and Dylan Napa (all 100) all also hit triple figures and comfortably notched personal season-highs.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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